, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 407-410

Molecular basis and PCR-DNA typing of the Fya/fyb blood group polymorphism

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The Duffy blood group antigens are carried by the erythrocyte membrane glycoprotein gpD, which has a molecular weight of 35–45 kDa and which has been recently cloned. In this report, we have determined, at the nucleic acid level, the molecular basis for the blood group Fya/Fyb polymorphism. The gpD cDNAs isolated by reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from Fy(a+b−) and Fy(a−b+) donors differed by only one base susbstitution (G131A) changing Gly to Asp at position 44 of the gpD protein. When expressed in simian Cos-7 cells, the Fy(a+b−) and Fy(a-b+) gpD cDNA produce cell surface proteins that react with the anti-Fya and anti-Fyb antisera, respectively, demonstrating that they represent the FY *A and FY *B alleles of the Duffy blood group locus. The G131A nucleotide substitution has been correlated with a BanI restriction site polymorphism, which has allowed us to develop a method for the DNA typing of the main Duffy blood group antigens, by means of PCR/ restriction fragment length polymorphisms.